Three years before the Arab Spring, director Jed Rothstein started filming with a group of young heavy metal musicians in Egypt. The community was still recovering from the government's violent "Satanic Metal" purge of the late 90's, when hundreds were jailed and tortured. The kids in the film saw the music as their outlet, a place where they could find a small bit of the freedom they were otherwise denied. Then, one day, everything burst wide open.
Filmed before, during and since the beginning of the Egyptian revolution, Before the Spring After the Fall tells the stories of a few remarkable young people as they seek to balance Islam and global culture, define themselves, and shape their world. The story captures the dizzying highs and lows of a generation and transforms the political into the personal. The narrative fractures time, and weaves together stunning 24P HD cinematogrpahy with raw, first person footage recorded during moments of intense danger. With their music as a soundtrack, the filmmakers follow the subjects into the strange new reality emerging around them. For all, life will never be the same.
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Director Jed Rothstein and Producer Liz Garbus won Best Documentary at the Bend Film Festival and Best Cinematography at the Williamsburg Film Festival. The film had its television premiere on PBS World in 2014.